Admission Requirements and Process
Enrollment in the DPD is limited to 40 students. To be considered for admission into the professional sequence, applicants must be officially admitted to BYU, and:
- Complete all prerequisites before beginning the professional sequence (fall semester after acceptance).
- Apply to the program February 15th prior to fall admission.
- Complete at least 150 hours of dietetics-related work and/or volunteer experience by time of application (see examples below).
The Brigham Young University Didactic Program in Dietetics uses a holistic admissions process to assess preparedness and potential success in the program. This includes evaluation of:
- Personal Statement
- Two letters of recommendation, one from a professor and one from a work or volunteer supervisor
- Interview with faculty and dietetic interns.
- Grade Point Average
- Number of prerequisites remaining
- Dietetics-related experience
Master's Degree Requirement
Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics at Brigham Young University are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program.
The application must be submitted by February 15 before 11:59 p.m. prior to the Fall Semester of desired acceptance and include:
- the completed application form (located under DPD Application on this web site.)
- an official transcript or Progress Report
- two recommendation forms
- personal interview by the selection committee
Dietetics-related Work and/or Volunteer Experience
Admittance to the BYU Didactic Program in Dietetics requires 150 hours of dietetics-related experience. [Many internships, including BYU ‘s, require 500 hours of related experience—the additional 350 hours are added to the 150 required for the DPD.] The experience can be gained through paid employment, volunteer activities, or a combination of both. Obviously, the types of experience you can gain while still in school are not the things a dietitian actually does, but rather are the things dietitians might plan and supervise.
The experience should be completed under supervision in an established organization. While it is impossible to list all of the experiences that might “count,” here are some examples:
Healthcare, (hospital, nursing home, assisted living center, etc)
Virtually any position in the food and nutrition care department of a healthcare facility will give you exposure to the production, sanitation, and service areas of foodservice.
School Lunch/Child Nutrition Program
University/College Dining Service
Only “counts” if in a supervisory or food production position—not wait staff, host, cashier positions.
Diet clerk, diet tech, or dietary aid may have direct patient contact. CNA (nursing assistant), physical therapy aid, occupational therapy aid, and other positions involved with direct patient care in a hospital or nursing home provide excellent experience. Working in the medical billing and reimbursement area of a hospital provides experience with an important part of health care.
Many of the opportunities in the community will be volunteer rather than paid, although some paid positions exist. Any agency that has nutrition education/feeding as a component of its mission is a possibility—Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Heart Association, Diabetes Association, Cancer Society, March of Dimes, food banks, food/shelter coalition, soup kitchens, meal preparation for Special Olympics, Headstart, Aging Services etc.
Food and Drug Administration, World Health Organization, US Department of Agriculture, and other agencies provide experiences in the legislative and oversight aspects of nutrition and food. If you happen to be in or near Washington DC these may be an option.
Being a teaching or laboratory assistant in nutrition or food science classes, anatomy lab, or other major classes, or the sensory analysis lab gives good experience.
Assessment of Prior Learning
Credit for comparable courses taken at colleges or universities other than Brigham Young University will be evaluated as outlined in the Assessment of Prior Learning Policy in the DPD Student Handbook.